John Dryden

Hidden Flame

I FEED a flame within, which so torments me
That it both pains my heart, and yet contents me:
'Tis such a pleasing smart, and I so love it,
That I had rather die than once remove it.

Yet he, for whom I grieve, shall never know it;
My tongue does not betray, nor my eyes show it.
Not a sigh, nor a tear, my pain discloses,
But they fall silently, like dew on roses.

Thus, to prevent my Love from being cruel,
My heart 's the sacrifice, as 'tis the fuel;
And while I suffer this to give him quiet,
My faith rewards my love, though he deny it.

On his eyes will I gaze, and there delight me;
While I conceal my love no frown can fright me.
To be more happy I dare not aspire,
Nor can I fall more low, mounting no higher.

Listen to this poem

Read by Martin Geeson · Source: Librivox.org

About the poet

John DrydenJohn Dryden

By the same poet
A Song for St. Cecilia's Day, 1687
Ah, how sweet it is to love!
Song to a Fair Young Lady, going out of the Town in the Spring
Related books
John Dryden at amazon.co.uk